Hermann Damen – Verbosonies and Phonographies LP + Prints



Alga Marghen, Italy 2024

Edition of 220 copies, with 21 inserts, postcards, prints of various sizes

Hermann Damen is a Dutch artist and language designer who, among other things, has created visual poems, performance works and verbosonies – a genre that Damen developed where vocalised morphomic elements are assembled in different ways. In his works he has been exploring ‘kinetic language’ and the spatial aspects of language. Damen’s manifesto “Semiotic Theatre” states that his work “places itself outside official literature and wants to fascinate, shock or activate people by combining and replacing writing and articulation with extra-linguistic signs and techniques like pictures, drawings, graphics, photos, montages, collages, de-collages, projects, objects, light, darkness, signals, symbols, gestures, happenings, noise, silence, smells, tastes, situations, states, properties, streets, landscapes, etc…”.
But most of all, Hermann Damen work is SONICO, or disintegrated language treated via electronic means and GRAPHICO, or Kinetic / Edible / Political / Sexual / Capsule / Visual Poetry.

The first side of this LP presents five verbosonies recorded between 1966 and 1970. “Automaton-Pouim”; “Voices”, a radiophonical arrangement in six overlapping parts of sounds made with jaws, nose, cheeks, lips, teeth, tongue, uvula and palate; “Monologue-Machine”, consisting of speech sounds from different languages and an extra-vocal sound in superposed layers, located in the space by using a four-track magnetophone; “Magic”, a multi-track improvisation with the intentional use of a defective microphone; “Plastic-Elastic”, for synthetic voice.
The second side presents three phonographies recorded between 1967 and 1973. “Reveil du chaos”, an audio collage with tape manipulations for the experimental movie with the same tile; “Hommage à Orff”, the sixth part of a work presented in 1970 at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, a sonic piece activated by people entering a 5-edge room where amorph material graphic works (a, âme, amo, amor, amorf) were placed and thus completing the installation; “Psychocybernetic Performance”, created at the Electronic Music Studio in Stockholm for the Sixth Text-Sound Festival at Fylkingen in 1973.

Hermann Damen was the founder and editor of the AH! Magazine, a magazine for ‘verbal plasticism’. Somehow parallel in contents with the legendary Revue OU, Damen’s AH! occasionally also included vinyl records and represented an ante-litteram multi-media.
This edition includes the following inserts:
“Kinetic Pouim” (1966), drawing with notes and photos.
“What to do with Poetry” (1966-69), graphic.
“Reveil du Chaos” (1967), excerpt of the score with notes.
“Betekste Condoom” (1967), photo of condom poetry.
“Six-Clus” (1967), envelope with 5 graphic prints and score excerpt.
“Verbosonies & Phonographies” (1968), essay.
“40+ Product of Holland” (1968), poster.
“Capsule-Pouim” (1968), micro-poem in plastic envelope.
“Ozon” (1969), poster.
“Psychocybernetic Performance” (1973), score and photos.
“Beveiliging” (1974), collage.
“Grands Prix” (1974), collage.
“Art Director” (1974), collage.
“De taal vormt het proeven voor” (1974), collage.
“De Radioaktieve-Vuilnisman” (1975), poster.


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